Sunday, 18 February 2018

Court condemns HR&CE for failure to protect theft in Temples

Sadly, very sadly ~ Temples are under the vicious grip of Government, governed through HR&CE  - none of the devotees dare ask – why conducting feeding on the day of a former CM inside temples with temple funds – wny not in any other religious place ? – and more importantly, why administer only Hindu temples ???

It is baffling – the grave crime that gets committed at Temples – a form of organized looting.  Recently,  the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR&CE) Department released statistics  that 1,204 idols belonging to temples in the State were stolen between 1992 and 2017 – that gives rise to 2 fundamental Qs..

1.      What is action taken ?? -  how many recovered ??
2.      How many idols were stolen prior to that period and what is HR& CE doing ?

In Temples one could find boards showing details of defaulters – running into lakhs and remaining unpaid for a decade or so.. .. with measly rents, if it were to accumulate to lakhs – whose fault and what action – what action against those administrators who have not taken any measures to protect the Temple property that they claim to manage and realize reasonable rent !!   Recently, the HR&CE Department filed a counter affidavit in the Madras High Court listing out idols which were stolen from temples in Tamil Nadu. According to the department, between 1992 and 2017, as many as 1,204 idols — 372 stone and 832 bronze — belonging to 387 temples were reported to be missing.

Worser still -  the  Madras high court on Friday censured the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department for failing to protect, preserve and maintain temple idols.

“If the idols are kept locked up without any maintenance, what is the purpose of having such a department,” Justice R Mahadevan asked, adding that the situation is the same in the 1,700 temples that he had visited in the state. The criticism by the judge pertained to the theft of several ancient idols from the state’s temples.  The court made the observation after IG Pon Manickavel, chief of idol wing, informed the court that most of the antique idols were not properly maintained by the department.  The judge then directed the additional advocate-general Aravindh Pandian, the commissioner of HR&CE and IG Pon Manickavel to sit and finalise the steps to implement various guidelines issued by the court in connection with the preservation and maintenance of idols. 

In a recent hearing, pulling up the Tamil Nadu government for failing to cooperate in investigations connected to idol thefts, the court warned that it would be compelled to order a CBI probe into the cases, if such attitude of the authorities continued. The observations were made on two separate pleas moved by R Venkataraman and advocate Elephant G Rajendran seeking transfer of investigation on all the pending cases of idol thefts to the CB-CID.

In July, 2017 the court overruled the transfer of Pon Manickavel out of the idol wing police and directed the officer to head the wing again. The court further ordered transfer of all the cases pending in various courts across the state, prosecuted by the Idol wing, to the file of the additional chief judicial magistrate, Kumbakonam, for speedy disposal on a day-to-day basis.

Recently there was news that the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department  launched a survey of idols in the 4,000-and-odd temples in the Salem region. The initiative was following the unearthing of yet another idol smuggling racket and recovery of a large number of idols stolen from the temples across the State.  More than 4,000 temples are attached to the HR and CE Department in the four districts - districts of Salem, Namakkal, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri.

Sad, they do not know what they have in possession, they cannot protect, some officials collude to – and they take and keep the God away from Temple in lockers. Only Sarweswaran can give some knowledge to these hay and save the Temples.

~ allikkeni Mainthan.
18th Feb 2018.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

fire at Sri Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple ~ remove all shops & offices immediately

Sri Madurai Meenakshi amman temple is a very famous temple ~ it would only be appropriate to say that people visit Madurai for worshipping the Goddess and it is not people visiting Madurai have darshan at this temple.

It stands adding lustre to the Temple town of Madurai ~ the great Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple – aka – Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, located on the south banks of river Vaigai.  The presiding deity is Goddess Meenakshi, a form of Parvathi and her consort Sundareeswarar, the manifestation of Shiva.  The Temple has pride of place in Sangam literature. 

The Temple is many many centuries old -  the present campus structure was rebuilt after the 14th  century CE, further repaired, renovated and expanded in the 17th  century by  great ruler Thirumalai Nayakkar.   In early 14th century,  the armies of Delhi Sultanate led by Muslim Commander Malik Kafur plundered the temple, looted it of its valuables and destroyed the Madurai temple town along with many other temple towns of South India.  Vijayanagara Empire rulers  rebuilt the core and reopened the temple.  The famed temple now has 14 gopurams (gateway towers), ranging from 45–50m in height, with the southern gopura tallest at 51.9 metres (170 ft). The complex has numerous sculpted pillared halls such as Ayirakkal (1,000 pillar hall), Kilikoondu-mandapam, Golu-mandapam and Pudu-mandapam.

Recently in 2017, the famed temple was   adjudged the best ‘Swachh Iconic Place’ (clean place) in India. Ten spots were identified by the Central government as part of the ‘Swachh Iconic Places’ initiative  and  Madurai City Corporation became recipient of  a special award from the Centre as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.  District Collector and Corporation Commissioner received the honours.  The officials claimed that as  part of the recognition as Swachh Iconic Place, a project had been conceived to clean the periphery of the temple, and was slated to be completed by March 2018. The project is estimated to cost 11.65 crore and has been sponsored by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

It is common knowledge that temples in Tamil Nadu are under Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments – the money that pours in to the Temple hundials are taken over by HR&CE and the Government and are used for all and sundry – wide away for the purposes for which such donations big and small are made.  Temples are neglected and officials do not care to maintain the religious, spiritual or physical cleanliness of the temples ~ sad, is the state of affairs.  While the revenue of major temples enrich the coffers of the Govt, nothing is done to take care, maintain, upkeep or least ensure that basic poojas are conducted in Temples. Who cares !

Adding to the sordid affairs, there are shops and commercial establishments minting money from the devotees ~ in every Temple, such shops run by individuals either do not pay rent or pay a measly price, many a times managed by politicians and goons.  The authorities do not take any action for obvious reasons – either aligning themselves or simple negligent. 

From the morning media abuzz with reports that a  massive fire  broke out on the premises of the famous Meenakshi temple was put out in the early hours of Saturday and the devotees were allowed to offer the morning prayers.  The reports put that the  fire reduced 40 shops to ashes. "The hall with 1,000 pillars, which houses the temple museum, has not suffered any damage," District Collector Veera Raghava Rao, who supervised the fire-fighting operations, told reporters. He added that a special team was formed to look into the impact of the fire on the temple, especially the 7,000-square foot Vasantharayar Mandapam, "which has been affected". There were no casualties, the collector said, adding that a police investigation was underway, primarily because the fire broke out in the night. 

Other reports state that the major fire destroyed  atleast 30 shops located inside the East Tower of the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai.   A preliminary probe revealed that the fire broke out late on Friday night due to an electrical short-circuit in one of the shops situated near the 1,000-pillar hall. About 40 shops, selling puja articles and toys, were gutted in the fire and steps were being taken to clear the area of smoke, the police said.

According to  a flower vendor at the temple,  the mortar paste had peeled off at several places inside the Vasantharayar hall, while the paintings on the roof were destroyed. Besides, two pillars got dislocated in the impact of the fire, a temple official said on the condition of anonymity. The east tower entrance of the temple has temporarily been shut for cleanup works and the devotees are being allowed inside through the other gates.

Meanwhile, various Hindu outfits staged a protest, demanding relocation of the shops from the temple premises. It is not out of place to point out that a Hindu Munnani leader who had earlier pleaded removal of shops in the temple complex was murdered a decade ago.  A huge posse of police personnel has been deployed in and around the temple.

Sad is the state of affairs ! ~ if the heritage and richness of the Temple is to be preserved all shops must be removed from the Temple compound and so be the Office – can not the administration function from any building outside the Temple Complex ?  ~ and this would apply to all Temples managed (!) by HR & CE

அரசே ஆலயத்தை விட்டு வெளியேறு !
~  ஆலய காணிக்கைகளை இறைவனுக்காக மட்டுமே செலவிடு.
ஆலய காணிக்கை வேறு எந்த திட்டத்துக்கும் செல்லக்கூடாது.
ஆலய நிலங்களை அரசு தானம் செய்யக்கூடாது.


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

கோதா தேவி திருவடிகளே சரணம் !! மூர்க்கர்களும் மூடர்களும் !! பேசினால் வேறு என்ன ??

கோதா தேவி திருவடிகளே சரணம் !! மூர்க்கர்களும்  மூடர்களும் !! பேசினால் வேறு என்ன ??

ஒரு வக்கிரம் பிடித்த மூர்க்கன் நாம் வணங்கும் தெய்வமான கோதை பிராட்டியை பற்றி பிதற்றினான்.  நமது சம்பிரதாய நூல்களான 'குரு பரம்பரை பிரபாவமும் "  'ஆறாயிரப்படி' போன்ற அற்புத வியாக்கினங்களும், மேலும் லட்சக்கணக்கான நூல்களும் இருக்க ஒரு தகர சிப்பி,  இன்னமும் அடிமைத்தனம் மோகித்து, ஏதோ அமெரிக்க நூலில் உள்ளதாக உளறியது.

அப்படி உளறி வாயும், அதற்கு மேடை அமைத்து அமர்ந்திருந்த பத்திரிகையாளர்களும் அதற்கான துர்ப்பயனை நிச்சயம் விரைவில் அனுபவிக்க வேண்டும் என்பது பக்தர்களின் உள்ளக் குமுறல். 

ஸ்ரீ ஆண்டாள் திருவடிகளே சரணம்.

ஆண்டாள் விவகாரம்: செண்டலங்கார ஜீயர் சுவாமி மறுப்பு

சென்னை:‛‛தமிழை ஆண்டாள்'' என்ற தலைப்பில் ஆண்டாள் பற்றி கவிஞர் வைரமுத்து தெரிவித்த சர்ச்சைக்குரிய கருத்துகளுக்கு, மன்னார்குடி ஸ்ரீசெண்டலங்கார ஜீயர் சுவாமி மறுப்பு தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.

அதன் விபரம்: 'தமிழை ஆண்டாள்' என்ற கட்டுரை மூலம் கவிஞர் வைரமுத்து தனக்கு தமிழும் தெரியாது, தமிழர் பண்பாடும் தெரியாது என்பதை வெளிப்படுத்திக் கொண்டுள்ளார். இந்த கட்டுரையின் நோக்கம் வைணவர்கள் நாளும் போற்றி வணங்கிடும் ஆண்டாளை இழிவு படுத்துவதற்கே எழுதப்பட்டது.

வைரமுத்துவுக்கு சில கேள்விகள்:
* ஆண்டாளை தேவதாசி என்று மேல் நாட்டு அறிஞர் குறிப்பிட்டுள்ளதைக் கட்டுரைக்குப் பொருத்தமில்லாத ஒரு செய்தியை முனைப்புடன் கொடுக்க முற்படுவானேன். அதற்கு ஏதேனும் ஆதாரம் உண்டா? இந்தியப் பண்பாட்டை, ஓர் மதக் கொள்கையைப் புரிந்து கொள்ள மேல்நாட்டு அறிஞர்களால் முடியுமா?

* மரபுகளின் மீதான அத்துமீறல் ஆண்டாள் வாழ்வில் அடிக்கடி நேர்கிறது' என்பது வைரமுத்துவின் பிதற்றல்களில் ஒன்று. ஆண்டாள் இறைவனின் பத்தினிகளில் ஒருவரின் அவதாரமாகக் கொள்ளப்படுகிறார்.  பூமாதேவி, ஸ்ரீதேவி, நீளை எனப்படும் மூன்றாம் தேவி. இவர்கள் எப்போதும் இறைவனுடன் இணைந்தே காணப்படுகின்றனர். நீளையினுடைய அவதாரமே நப்பின்னை. ஜல்லிக்கட்டின் தலைவனே கண்ணன். தமிழர்களுடைய முல்லை நிலப் பண்பாட்டை ஆழ்வார்களுடைய பாசுரங்களில் காணலாம். நுனிப்புல் மேயும் வைரமுத்துவிற்கு இவை தெரியாது..

திருமங்கையாழ்வார், நம்மாழ்வார், குலசேகராழ்வார் தலைவி நிலையில் (மனத்தளவில்) தம்மை உள்ளத்தில் கொண்டு கண்ணன் மீது காதல் பாடல்களைப் பாடியுள்ளனர். ஆண்டாளோ பெண்ணாகவே பிறந்து, கண்ணன் மீது காதல் கொண்டாள். நாச்சியார் திருமொழியில், கண்ணனை அடைய வேண்டும் என்னும் வேட்கையை வெளிபடுத்துகிறாள் ஆண்டாள், அது தமிழ் இலக்கிய மரபின் ஓர் கூறு. இதைக் கொச்சைப் படுத்தி எழுதியிருப்பதுதான் விந்தையிலும் விந்தை.

*'தெய்வம், கடவுள் ஆகிய இரண்டுக்கும் உள்ள வேறுபாடு பற்றி வைரமத்து கூறியது, ஓர் மரபு மீறிய விளக்கம். வைரமுத்துவை விட பன்மடங்கு அறிவுடையார் நிகண்டுகளைப் படைத்தவர்கள். அவர்கள் சொல்லும் பொருளே ஏற்றுக் கொள்ளப்படும்.

*வர்க்க பேதம், ஜாதிபேதம் எல்லாம் மக்களை மதி மயக்க உருவாக்கப்பட்ட சொற்கள். 8ம் நூற்றாண்டில் இது போன்ற எண்ணங்கள் கிடையாது அனைவரும் சமுதாயத்துக்குரிய கடமைகளைச் செய்து வந்தனர். ஆண்டாளின் பெருமையை விளக்க, வர்க்க, ஜாதிப் பிரிவுகள் பற்றிய குறிப்பு தேவையற்றது.

*'எப்படி ஆண்டாள் கல்லான கடவுளைக் கைப்பிடித்தாள்' என்று பிதற்றியுள்ளார். அது எங்கள் நம்பிக்கை. நீ கொண்டாடும் மற்றைய மதத்தினரிடம் இது போன்ற கேள்வியை எழுப்பி இருப்பாயா?

*பாகவதத்தில் காத்தியாயினி (கார்த்தியாயினி என்று வைரமுத்து கூறியது தவறு) நோன்பு கண்ணனை அடைவதற்காக நோற்கப்பட்டது. திருப்பாவையிலும் அதேபோன்று கண்ணனை அடைவதற்கே பாவை நோன்பு கொண்டாடப்பட்டது. வைணவ உரை ஆசிரியர்களான பெரியவாச்சான் பிள்ளை, அழகியமணவாளப் பெருமாள் நாயனார் ஆகியோர் இதைத் தெளிவுபடுத்தியுள்ளனர். இவ்வாறு அவர் கூறியுள்ளார்.

நன்றி மருத்துவர் அய்யா. கு.இராமதாஸ் அவர்கள் Dr. Ramdoss அய்யா அவர்களின் அறிக்கை....
ஆண்டாள் சர்ச்சை: மக்கள் மனதை புண்படுத்தும் கருத்துகள் கூடாது!  ---அறிக்கை ---
தினமணி நாளிதழில் ‘தமிழின் ஆண்டாள்’ என்ற தலைப்பில் கவிஞர் வைரமுத்து எழுதிய கட்டுரையில் பன்னிரு ஆழ்வார்களில் ஒருவரான ஆண்டாளை இழிவுபடுத்தும் வகையில் தெரிவித்துள்ள கருத்துகள் பெரும் சர்ச்சையை ஏற்படுத்தியுள்ளன. எழுதியக் கட்டுரையின் தலைப்புக்கு சற்றும் தொடர்பில்லாத வகையில் ஆண்டாள் குறித்த கற்பனை மற்றும் யூகங்களை கவிஞர் திணித்திருப்பது கண்டிக்கத்தக்கது.
‘தமிழின் ஆண்டாள்’ கட்டுரையில் ஆண்டாளின் சிறப்புகளைப் பற்றி அடுக்கிக் கொண்டு வரும் கவிஞர் வைரமுத்து இடையிடையே சில வினாக்களைத் தொடுத்து, அதற்கு பதிலளிப்பதாகக் கூறி ஆண்டாளை குலமறியா பெண்ணாக சித்தரிக்க முயன்றிருக்கிறார். அதன் அடுத்தக்கட்டமாக அமெரிக்காவின் இண்டியானா பல்கலைக்கழகம் சுபாஷ் சந்திர மாலிக்கை ஆசிரியராகக் கொண்டு வெளியிட்ட Indian Movement: some aspects of dissent, protest and reform என்ற நூலில் ஆண்டாள் குறித்து,‘‘Andal was herself a devadasi who lived and died in the Srirangam Temple’’ என்று குறிப்பிடப் பட்டிருப்பதைச் சுட்டிக்காட்டி ஆண்டாளை வணங்குபவர்களையும், அவரது பாடல்களை நேசிப்பவர்களையும் காயப்படுத்தியிருக்கிறார். இது சர்ச்சையான பிறகு தமக்கு எதிரான கொந்தளிப்பைக் குறைக்கும் வகையில் தமது வரிகள் யார் மனதையாவது புண்படுத்தியிருந்தால் வருந்துவதாகத் தெரிவித்துள்ளார். கவிஞர் வைரமுத்துவின் இந்த விளக்கம் காயப்பட்ட மனங்களுக்கு எந்த வகையிலும் மருந்தாக அமையாது.
இண்டியானா பல்கலைக்கழகம் வெளியிட்ட ஆய்வுக் கட்டுரையில் ஆண்டாள் குறித்து இடம்பெற்றுள்ள கருத்துகளுக்கு எந்த ஆதாரமும் இல்லை. ஆண்டாளைப் பற்றி அறியப்படாத நாட்டில் ஆய்வு என்ற பெயரில் அவரைப் பற்றி எவர் வேண்டுமானாலும், எப்படி வேண்டுமானாலும் எழுதி பட்டம் பெற்று செல்லலாம். ஆனால், ஆண்டாள் வாழ்ந்த மண்ணில், அவரை வணங்குபவர்கள் வாழும் மண்ணில் அவர் குறித்த அடிப்படையற்ற சர்ச்சைக் கருத்தை பயன்படுத்துவதற்கு முன் வைரமுத்து பத்தாயிரம் முறையாவது யோசித்திருக்க வேண்டும். இந்தக் கருத்தை பக்தர்கள் ஏற்றுக் கொள்ள மாட்டார்கள் என்று வைரமுத்து குறிப்பிட்டிருப்பதைப் பார்க்கும் போது, இப்படி ஒரு சர்ச்சையை ஏற்படும் என்பதை அறிந்தே அவர் இவ்வாறு குறிப்பிட்டிருப்பதாகத் தோன்றுகிறது. இதை அவர் தவிர்த்திருக்க வேண்டும்.
ஆண்டாள் குலமறியாத பெண் என்பதையும் ஏற்க முடியாது. ஆண்டாளின் பாசுரங்களில் மிகத் தெளிவாக “பட்டர்பிரான் கோதை”, “வில்லி புதுவை நகர்நம்பி விட்டு சித்தன் வியன்கோதை” என்று பலவாறாக கோதையின் சுய அடையாளம் மீண்டும் மீண்டும் சொல்லப்படுகிறது. எங்கோ இண்டியானா பல்கலைக்கழக நூலில் இடம்பெற்றுள்ள கருத்தை மேற்கோள் காட்டிய கவிஞருக்கு ஆண்டாள் பாசுரத்தில் இடம் பெற்றுள்ள அவரது அடையாளங்கள் தெரியாமல் போனது மிகவும் துரதிருஷ்டவசமானது தான்.
கவிஞர் வைரமுத்து தமிழுக்கு கிடைத்த தலைசிறந்த எழுத்தாளர், கவிஞர் என்பதில் எவருக்கும் மாற்றுக் கருத்து இருக்க முடியாது. இதுவரை வேறு எவரும் சாதிக்காத வகையில் குடியரசுத் தலைவர் விருதை 6 முறையும், குடிமக்களுக்கு வழங்கப்படும் மூன்றாவது உயரிய விருதான பத்மபூஷன் விருதையும் பெற்றவர் அவர். ஆண்டாளை நன்கு அறிந்த அவர் இப்படி ஓர் ஆராய்ச்சியில் இறங்கியிருக்க வேண்டுமா?
காலத்தால் அழிக்க முடியாத இலக்கியம் படைத்த ஆண்டாள் தமிழர்களின் அடையாளம் ஆவார். இது ஒருபுறமிருக்க சமூக பொறுப்புள்ளவர்கள் மக்களின் உணர்வோடு விளையாடும் கருத்துக்களை வெளியிடுவதை தவிர்க்க வேண்டும். கருத்துரிமை என்பது அரசியலமைப்புச் சட்டத்தின்படி வழங்கப் பட்டுள்ளது என்றாலும் கூட, அது மற்றவர்களின் உணர்வுகளை புண்படுத்தாமல் இருக்க வேண்டும்.
தமிழகம் நல்லிணக்கத்தின் பூமி. அது காப்பாற்றப்பட வேண்டும். எனவே, எந்தவொரு மதம், எந்தவொரு சமுதாயம், எந்தவொரு நம்பிக்கை குறித்தும் வெறுப்பு கருத்துக்களை வெளியிடுவதைத் தவிர்த்து, தமிழகத்தில் அமைதி, ஒருமைப்பாடு, நல்லிணக்கம் ஆகியவை தழைத்தோங்க பங்களிக்க வேண்டும்.

Monday, 27 November 2017

கடவுளே நீயே காப்பாற்று !! HR&CE removes idols from Temple in Cuddalore

கடவுளே உன் பக்தர்களை நீயே காப்பாற்றுவாயாக

Ever wondered why some temples have so many staff while some do not ? – ever cared to know – where would the money received by donations and offerings go ? – the only purpose of such donations is for the Temple, its upkeep and the traditions behind the temple – one would be stumped to know, that the money fills the coffers of the Govt – to be used in all and sundry schemes, totally unconnected, irrelevant and at times opposed to the very purpose of such donations, against Hinduism even.  Sounds melancholic !!

திருமயிலை கயீலேச்வரம் அற்புத தோற்றம்
Tamil Nadu has a long tradition of rich culture, traditions of literature, music, dance and above all religious faith.   Those famous kings of the land, built temples, maintained the existing ones which provided employment opportunities, promoted arts and culture, acted as granaries and primarily lent people the correct way of life.  Saiva & Srivaishnavism thrived in this land of Azhwargal and Nayamnars.  The big Temples possessing most beautiful idols of the Lord had thousands of believers praying all the time – temple management in the hands of Kings, Patrons, and locals – highly educated and firm in their belief.

The benevolent people have offered land, gold, cash, elephants, horses, cows, bulls and more to the temples and also instituted funds for their continued maintenance.  Over a period of time, from the donors the management passed on to Trustees, who were locally influential good people. Years later, the Govt stepped in (sadly only in respect of Hindu places of worship and not in any other religious places !)

A few decades ago, the State took  over the reins of the temple – now the  management and control of the temples and the administration of their endowments is stated to be the  primary responsibility of the State.  [does it fit in with the present secular credentials ?] Now there is Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, a Ministry, a Department, plethora of officials with associated materials including vehicles !!  ~ now read the following article that appeared in Indian Express of date  titled ‘Officials break open temple room, shift 26 idols’  and then read the concluding paras too.

HR&CE officials with the idols at Kasi Vishwanathar-Sivagamasundari Ambal Temple | Express

CUDDALORE: The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department recovered 26 panchaloha idols from a temple here on Saturday despite local resistance and shifted them to a safer place. The government has been taking steps to move centuries-old temple idols in unsafe conditions to bigger temples, where they could be well protected. This is part of a plan to protect idols from smugglers.

As the 300-year-old Kasi Vishwanathar-Sivagamasundari Ambal Temple in Cuddalore Old Town, which comes under the control of HR&CE Department, has 26 panchaloha idols, the department has been trying to move them to well protected places. But earlier attempts by the officials did not work due to a local conflict. On Saturday, HR&CE Assistant Commissioner Renugadevi went to the temple along with police to move idols to a well-protected temple. But the locals, who have been influencing the activities of the temple, opposed and refused to give the key to the room, where the idols were kept.

Subsequently, the officials broke open the room’s lock in the presence of Village Administrative Officer Thanigachalam. Police team headed by inspector Sundarrajan was also present. The officials shifted all the 26 panchaloha idols after performing poojas and other rituals. “There are around 3,000 idols in the temples in Cuddalore district. Among them, we have identified some of them to be in unsafe conditions and hence have been moving them to the idol protection centre at Padaleeshwarar temple in Cuddalore. We are doing this with police protection,” Renugadevi said.

“So far, 182 idols from 50 temples have been shifted. That apart, we have installed surveillance camera and alarm in 105 temples. We are going to instal cameras in 70 more temples,” she said.

Does that not sound an alarm ? ~ shifting of idols that too 182 from 50 temples -  it is not simply idols but God – the presiding deities of Temples.  Such temples had been constructed only for installation of the deity and people have worshipped there for ages – now the Officials who are to manage the affairs of temple are shifting idols to ‘safe places’ – does that mean keeping the Gods in safety vaults! – if a Temple is considered not so safe, safety measures including watchman facilities should be put in place – shifting is no solution.  The DEpt which thrives on revenues from Temples should understand its basic duty of protecting the places of worship.

Though collectively called ‘Hindu temples’ – there are different agamas and other relevant things for the believer – how can a God of a particular temple be kept in a safe iron room though located in another temple.  What will be the purpose of keeping the God, if there are no daily rituals and would there be any meaning in rituals together for different Gods.  How shambolic ? – what is the wisdom of such acts by HR&CE Officials .. .. .. and why are we silent to every atrocity committed on our religion and belief.

Some fool would come on media question the faith of people donating in Temple hundis without daring to comment the same on other religions, the collections of temple would be used for non-religious purposes, then Gods are also forcibly shifted out of the temple, built in olden days with purpose and where worship had taken place for hundreds of year .. so sad is the state of affairs ?  - who will save us from these people !!!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

How Hindu temples are managed ?!!?

How Hindu Temples are managed ? and how the common ordinary Baktha can only lament and do nothing about it ..
Here is an article of Firstpost reproduced in its entirety.  :  Head priest of Tirumala's Venkateshwara Temple is taking on the management and all knives are out  :  Nov, 21 2017 10:49:19 IST

What began as a clash between religious rites and the IAS management of the country’s richest temple, has now descended into mudslinging between the head priest and the officers in charge of administration. Dr AV Ramana Dikshitulu, head priest of the Vaishnavite temple of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala and one of the four agama advisors of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), is at loggerheads with the temple authorities and constantly in the news for his comments on the TTD administration and other controversies.

The latest row is over Dikshitulu taking his grandson into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple for which he was issued a show cause notice by the deputy executive officer of TTD, Kodandarama Rao. Dikshitulu did not bother with an official clarification, but asked Firstpostunofficially that when the relatives of TTD officials can go anywhere at any time, what is wrong with children of priests, who are also practicising archakas (priests), to visit the abode of Lord Venkateswara?

The priest is not in the good books of the TTD administrators, specifically three IAS officers — one executive officer (EO) and two joint executive officers (JEOs) — and three IPS officers. He has slammed the administration on issues like VIP darshans, shortening of rituals and alleged commercialisation of the temple. "None of them have respect for the traditions or practices as laid down by agamas (vedic scriptures defining traditions and rituals in the temple) and are making changes as per their whims and fancies to promote their personal influence," he told Firstpost.

In October, Dikshitulu told Firstpost, "Instead of being custodians they are using the temple of Lord Venkateswara to please industrialists, money bags, politicians in power and enhance their own personal power to beget better postings. But when an archaka offers blessings to these same people, he is blamed and reprimanded,” he said.

Dikshitulu was referring to an incident that took place on 10 April, 2010 when the head priest walked up to the Padmavati Guest House to offer ashir vachanam for industrialist Mukesh Ambani. The TTD had served him notice for violating temple norms in this instance. "If someone falls at my feet, I normally bless them. It is just like that for Ambani or anyone. There is nothing wrong in offering ashir vachanam for any devotee at any time or place," he said.

Dikshitulu also allegedly flew to Mumbai to bless the granddaughter of a politician and industrialist at her marriage. He allegedly performed sudarshana homam in Tirumala for the late chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR) and his son Jaganmohan Reddy in 2009. He is also said to have made trips to Pulivendula and Hyderabad for YSR. "Why do they want the priests alone to be holier than Lord Venkateswara? Everyone mints money in the name of Balaji, but when a priest does something routine — blessing people, performing yagnas and homams for the pious, he is questioned and issued notices," he said.

 Administrators versus rituals :  Dikshitulu though is firing all guns right back. The 'vaikhasana agama' he explains, deals with rituals that are done in the temple and to the deity. Dikshitulu says that TTD officials "overdid" the rituals, their duration and also violated norms about the prescribed persons who should be present during the rituals. "Particularly for Friday abhishekham and ekantha seva, it is the wish of the officials that prevails and not the traditions," he charged, "During the last pavitrotsavams, officials went over to the vimanam (gopuram of temple) to offer puja, which is the domain of only priests, and committed sacrilege,” he added.

In view of his critical stand, Dikshitulu is often sidelined when it comes to decisions on temple duties as he has charged that officials are appointing ineligible priests to perform pavitrotsavams. Temple officials however say that they are working in adherence to agamacounseling by three other agama advisors as per section 34(3) of the TTD Act.

Dikshitulu’s charges are not entirely baseless. The JEO of TTD has the powers of a lieutenant-governor in granting shop leases, private hotels and guest houses in Tirumala and allegations of misuse of these powers abound. Incidentally, over 30 media personnel working in Tirumala and Tirupati have business interests — shops, choultries and eating joints near the temple. For example the special correspondent of a national daily is the owner of a sprawling private choulty at Tirumala. The present JEO has continued to remain in this position for seven years, despite the normal tenure being only three years.

Dikshitulu recounts how during the last Brahmotsvam, he had suggested that priests and not attendants must give harati during vahana sevas. "Devotees are put to distress and the entire show is conducted by attendants, instead of priests where the pious are pushed and heckled. Instead why doesn't TTD conduct sarkari harati at every point?" he asked. But the officials refused.
In October last year, the head priest received another jolt when the appointment of his son Venkatapathi Dikshitulu to serve on the suryaprabha vahanam during Brahmotsvam was nullified by the TTD officials. His outburst that TTD officials should not interfere in ritual affairs and that the authority of chief priest was ignored went unheeded. Dikshitulu sought the intervention of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

VIPs and Commercialising Tirumala:  The TTD is now entertaining Andhra Pradesh MLAs and MPs, sending their voters on a pilgrimage to Tirumala — with food, entertainment, travel and darshan, all free of cost. Every day at least 75 to 100 buses and trains bring about 10,000 devotees through these politicians, for whom rooms, darshan slots and laddus are reserved by TTD officials. "What is wrong in fulfilling a promise made to our voters of a Tirupati pilgrimage and also Sabarimala visit?" asked TDP MLA from Srikakulam and state minister Atcham Naidu.

The chief priest argued that rituals are cut short to make way for VIP visits. "Although they say only two hours for VIPs, almost four to five hours of valuable time is given to them both in the morning and evening to suit the convenience of the visitors — mostly politicians, relatives and friends of EOs and JEOs and influential judges, IAS and IAS officers," he said.

Dikshitulu said he was not opposed to making more laddus, and building rooms and guest houses, but that the officialdom should not interfere in traditions and rituals as prescribed in Vaikhanasa Agamas and Divya Prabhandas scripted by Sri Ramanuja and Alwars. Secondly, sanctity and holiness of the only Vaishnavite hub in the world should not be tarnished. More importantly, agama pundits and priests who for centuries have been custodians of the temple and its practices should have the final say in number of festivals and hours of darshan.
Dikshitulu, a doctorate holder in molecular biology as well as an authority on the agamas, is one of the four families of the Vaikhanasa sect of Sri Vaishnavites who are engaged in serving the Lord Venkateswara temple and other sub-temples in Tirupati and other select towns of Rayalaseema. His family has been serving as priests at the temple for over 600 years. All these were disbanded by former chief minister NT Rama Rao, who brought out a special legislation for nationalising the Tirumala shrine and all its assets and gold with the sole goal of utilising this revenue for his anti-poverty schemes.

After two decades mired in legal battles, the government has finally taken over the TTD which has over 10,000 permanent and 12,000 contract workers. Its net worth is over Rs 42,000 crore including gold, land assets and institutions. It also has Rs 13,000 crore in fixed deposits besides 8,500 kg of gold deposited in banks under various schemes.

Dikshilutu also mentioned that the Kala Jnanam predicted by Pothuluri Veera Brahmam, a sage of the 17th Century from Kadapa, that the happenings at Tirumala would soon take it back by 100 years, is coming true. "We are giving darshan to one lakh per day by giving only two hours rest for the deity, we spend more time on laddu making, cultural shows, expanding accommodation, conducting more than 10,000 weddings per annum at Tirumala. All these were predicted by Veerabrahmam in his Kala Jnanam and that all these could vanish soon," he warned.

The TTD’s Response:   When the issue was recently raised by the media as to why the TTD administration was silent over the charges by the chief priest, executive officer Anil Kumar Singhal and his assistant JEO (Tirumala) KS Srinivasa Raju sidestepped the query. "We are here to do a job, streamlining the administration, plug loopholes. We do not interfere in temple rituals, archakas’ appointments etc. But only when there is difference of opinion among the archaka community, we are drawn to interfere," said Raju. TTD executive officer Anil Kumar Singhal stated that he did not have any differences with either Dikshitulu or other agama advisors. "As long as they stick to their functions and do not advise on how to run the temple, there are no issues," he said.

Former EO KV Ramanachari told Firstpost that the charges by Dikshitulu over the VIP darshans and other mismanagement were baseless. "We are bound by government decisions and also the decisions endorsed by the TTD governing body — the TTD Board. We cannot do anything — giving permissions, selling hair, deposit gold, approve government loans or even giving VIP darshan tickets on our own as there are set precedents on how many such permissions for VIP darshans one could give in a week or a month," he added.

tail piece :  if you had liked this and felt that the Officials are wrong ~ you will totally change your views if only you were to know something of HR&CE and the way temples are managed in Tamil Nadu. In the holy Thirumala, most money is spent on development activities and pilgrim amenities at Thirumala, way to Thirumala and elsewhere – in Tamil Nadu, the offerings of the bakthas – the believers,  generates crores of revenue for the Govt which unabashedly spends it on very purposes opposed to Hinduism and the purpose for which such donations were made !  Shame.. .. sad .. and … despicable …